Former South Dakota Gov. Rounds to run for U.S. Senate - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Former South Dakota Gov. Rounds to run for U.S. Senate

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Former South Dakota governor Mike Rounds has announced he is running for Senate in 2014.

Rounds made the announcement during a press conference in Pierre Thursday morning. Earlier this fall, Rounds formed a committee to explore a run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Tim Johnson. The seat is up for election in November 2014.

Rounds served as governor of South Dakota from 2003 to 2011. He was a state senator from 1991 to 2001.

Rounds is running for current Senator Tim Johnson's seat. In an interview with KSFY News Anchor Brian Allen, Rounds said he considers Sen. Tim Johnson a friend, but believes he can be more effective in solving problems in Washington, D.C.

After Rounds' announcement U.S. Senator Tim Johnson released a statement saying:

"I consider Mike a friend, and I welcome him to the race. I had an excellent working relationship with him during his eight years as Governor, and the fact that he has already re-stated his refusal to take the Grover Norquist ‘no tax increases under any circumstances' pledge is a very good sign."

Johnson welcomed Rounds to the race—leaving speculation to a run for reelection—but he said he would make a formal campaign announcement later next year.

Johnson also stated while he is sure he and Rounds will have policy disagreements, he is more than willing to give credit where it is due. Johnson said, "the fact that mike realizes that it is irresponsible to take tax increases off the negotiating table is absolutely to his credit."

The South Dakota Democratic Party did not waste any time to issue a response to Rounds' announcement. Thursday morning, South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf released a statement saying Rounds is a nice guy but he has the wrong priorities.

"Rounds clamored for hundreds of millions in stimulus dollars to mask his record of deficit spending, oversaw explosive growth in state government, and abused state resources for personal gain," Nesselhuf said in a news release.

A call to the South Dakota GOP Office was not answered. 

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